Came across this verse that seems to point to why Jesus did not(was not to) show himself to the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law. But then I have this question, why did Jesus say this? Did he not know that G-d wanted him to show himself only to the disciples and have them do the teaching later?

Acts 10:40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.

====================Original Question===========================

  • We see in Matthew 12:38 how the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law asked for a sign from Jesus.
  • Jesus tells the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law that they will not get any sign other than the sign of Jonah
  • I believe Jesus meant that he will rise from death after three days like Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and then came out.
  • In Acts 1:3 the author says that Jesus was with the disciples for 40 days
  • There is no record that Jesus showed himself to the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law

Please note the events that occurred sequentially:

Event #1. Jesus tells the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law that he will give them this sign. (Jesus said ...Mat 12:39... will be given it... it = wicked and adulterous generation)
Event #2. He is crucified and buried
Event #3. He raises from the grave
Event #4. He appears to his disciples and others.
Missing Event #5. He does not appear to Pharisees and Teachers of the Law

Since Jesus made a promise to the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law that they will only get one sign and that is the sign of Jonah, should he not have kept the promise and shown himself to the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law?

Verses for your reference taken from NIV are as below:

Matthew 12:38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” 39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented May 10, 2021 at 1:58
  • It was a rhetorical statement, not a promise.
    – Michael16
    Commented May 15, 2021 at 15:08
  • Paul says he was a Pharisees & that he had seen Jesus - albeit no independent witnesses - Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel. (2nd Tim. 2:8, KJV) Commented May 8 at 9:31

11 Answers 11


Any truth needs a heart and mind disposed to accept the truth, for without the disposition truth will not be seen as such at all. Imagine, a Sadducee denying resurrection and ridiculing Jesus' teaching about it, seeing the resurrected Jesus. What would he, this Sadducee say? Definitely that this is not Jesus, that it is some trick, or that it is Jesus but He did not die and all what was seen to have happened in the Calvary was just an apparition - thousands of explanations! If one does not want to see truth, he will not see it. That's why, Jesus did reveal Himself at resurrection only to those who were disposed to truth, even if, some of them, doubting in it (Matthew 28:17).

But He did not lie to the Pharisees and Sadducees, for seeing is not only by physical eyes, but also by hearing (Romans 10:17) and by mental eyes through this hearing. So, when they would see the moved stone, the disappeared body (which, if stolen would have necessarily be stolen in that circumstance with the linen wrappings on it, for any thief would be impenetrably stupid to lose time in unwrapping the body in the tomb, while surrounded by Roman guards, but would have taken it in haste as it was, i.e. wrapped in linens); they heard from the Roman guards about the miracle and the moving of stone by angel; but they did not want to hear them! On the contrary, they chose a lie and bribed the Roman soldiers to spread around the lie that the body was stolen by Jesus’ disciples (Matthew 28:13), who, in actuality were not ready not only for such an incredibly audacious act, but could not dare even to look out from their closed room out of fear of Jews (John 20:19). Did not, then Pharisees and others of their like among the leading experts of Law get a clear testimony that something incredible happened? Yes, they did get it. Should they have investigated it? Yes, normally, yes! Why they did not? Because of fear of uncomfortable truth, as naughty and banal the reason is, for every evil is banal and naughty.

So, can we say that Jesus deprived them of His promise that they would see His resurrection? Not at all, for Jesus gave to them through the words of the Roman soldiers a sign, which was like a wide gate for them to enter into the course of investigation that would necessarily take them to the discovery of the resurrection. But they did not do it, knowing 100% that the story they asked soldiers to disseminate was a blatant lie. By this lie and unwillingness to investigate, they crucified Jesus second time. It is a strange and frightening phenomenon that people can love their idiotic convictions, ideologies, passions so much, that they will be ready to kill truth infinite times, even while knowing that it is truth that they are killing.

Thus, the Jewish leaders knew about the miracle of the tomb and had they regarded this miracle without ill bias and prejudice, they would have celebrated Christ’s resurrection together with the disciples. This ill bias present in them, they would not have acknowledged Christ’s resurrection even if they would have seen Him physically.

So, Jesus did not lie to them, He said truth: had the Jewish leaders abandon their hatred and envy towards Jesus and acquire a good and sensible disposition instead, they would definitely see (by bodily or, even better, by mental eyes /John 10:29/) and believe the resurrection of the Lord.

  • @ Levan Gigineishvili please consider my inputs. 1. This question was asked by the Pharisees and teachers of the law. There were no Sadducees involved in this event. So the challenge of “no belief in the resurrection” is not there. 2. Please note that the Pharisees & scribes(teachers of the law) believed in the resurrection. Please refer below link jewishvirtuallibrary.org/pharisees-sadducees-and-essenes
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 9, 2021 at 10:15
  • 3. Now come to Jesus disciples themselves, you would expect them to believe that Jesus has risen right? All of them had no clue Jesus would rise from the grave until the Angels told them and then some believed. (Luke 24: 6-8 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” **Then they remembered his words.
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 9, 2021 at 10:16
  • 1
    @YedduPrasad 1. My example was a general; but my argument holds, for Pharisees were not ready to accept Jesus' version of His resurrection. 2. They had clue! namely, Jesus' prediction, but they did not get it, for which Jesus scolds them; 3-4. They did not believe initially, but they s h o u l d h a v e, that's why Jesus scolds them for lack of belief; Finally: - no! if even for well-disposed disciples it was hard to believe, it would be impossible to do so for ill-disposed Pharisees, for whom acceptance of risen Jesus would be ruin of their teaching, for which they were perfectly unready. Commented May 9, 2021 at 12:59
  • 1
    G-d forbid. I have been a Christian believing that Jesu is the son of G-d and that G-d sent him to die on the cross for my sins. Never doubted it and still do not doubt it. The only issue I have now is that People tell me if I don't profess that Jesus is god I will burn in hell. I am seeking an answer for ONLY 1 question Is Jesus god? I had to deep dive into the Greek text and that is where I am seeing these issues. I pray every day asking only 1 question to my G-d.... G-d is Jesus god also?. Please pardon me if I am offending anyone.
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 9, 2021 at 13:31
  • 2
    @Yeddu Thomas believed so and professed so after he saw Jesus resurrected addressing Him ὁ κύριος μου καὶ ὁ θεός μου (John 20:28); had Christ not been God, He would reprimand Thomas for the exalted blasphemy, and moreover, God the Father would reprimand the resurrected Christ for not reprimanding Thomas. The very quote I brought in the previous comment that Jesus knew human hearts (John 2:24) is 100% claim of Him being God, for not even the highest of angels or archangels, neither Satan, nor whatever clever man can know human heart, for only God is καρδιογνώστης - "heartknower" (Acts 1:24). Commented May 9, 2021 at 13:41

Wasn't this enough evidence of the sign for them?

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. (Mt 27:62–66, ESV)

And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, (Matt. 28:2–7, ESV)

11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers 13 and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day. (Matt. 28:11–15, ESV)

Jesus did not say he would show them the sign, only that he would perform it. It was given to them, not shown them in their presence. The leadership asking for a sign covered up the evidence rather than investigating. As Jesus said:

The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. (John 7:15–18, ESV)

Jesus had already been performing miraculous signs, which those asking for a sign ignored. Yet, they were asking for more. Do you really think one more would make a difference.

  • Please consider these points. to your point #1, The Priests & Pharisees ask Pilot to seal the Tomb as Jesus told then the Jonah sign(Remember Matthew does not say the verse we see in other gospels about the destroy the temple and I will rebuild in 3 days metaphor) These verses show that the jews suspected Jesus might rise from the dead. This strengthens my question that had Jesus show himself to the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law, they might have believed him.
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 9, 2021 at 12:14
  • Now to your point #2 Matthew says there was an earthquake and the grave was open but only the disciples went to the tomb and not the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law. So I think it is unfair to expect them to know the grave was empty and conclude that Jesus rose from the grave. Please also note that the disciples who were so close to Jesus and were told many times about his death and resurrection did not understand what happened to Jesus body. Jesus had to explain to them so many times. Please see my comments to Levan Gigineishvili above
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 9, 2021 at 12:19
  • For Point #3: Let us accept that the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law gave money to the guards and told them to lie and denied that Jesus rose. His disciples did not believe initially and Jesus proved to them multiple times that he is alive. Also, Thomas denied believing unless he put his finger in the holes of hand & side, Jesus obliged and showed his wounds to Thomas and he believed. All I am asking is 1. Jesus told the jews he will give them proof right?, 2 He came to save the jews right? That was his mission right?. He should have been patient & tried time right?. Is that too much to ask?
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 9, 2021 at 12:31
  • I may be wrong but if you see this verse I understood from the bold words that he promised... Matthew 12:39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. --- "IT" is referring to the "wicked and adulterous generation" G-d Bless
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 9, 2021 at 12:39

The Pharisees of Jesus' day learned of Jesus' resurrection the same way they learned the story of Jonah: through the testimony of someone else.

They did not personally witness the burial of Jonah in the sea nor his return to dry land, so there is nothing inherent in the comparison to suggest they need to see to believe.

Let us recall the words that follow Thomas' confession:

29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name (John 20:29-31)

And Jesus' praise of Peter for learning through revelation from God--all of us have the opportunity to learn in this way:

17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 16:17)


God expects people to believe in the testimony of His appointed representatives in the same way it was both expected and praised of Peter. Peter was expected to believe well before the resurrection. It took Peter a while to put together all the pieces and understand the details, but there is no doubt he believed in Jesus.

For Jesus to have appeared to those who under no circumstances would choose to repent would do them no good whatsoever - it would just mean they were now sinning against greater knowledge than they were before. "Signs follow those that believe" rather than the other way around.

Addendum re questions raised in chat

The Savior did appear to at least one Pharisee: Saul of Tarsus. And when he told the religious leaders of his day his testimony, they tried to kill him.

Why would it have done the Pharisees (in general) no good to see the resurrected Jesus?

  1. They had already decided not to believe. Seeing someone raised from the dead wasn't going to change that--they already had Lazarus as an example of Jesus' power over life & death, yet what was their response? To try to kill Lazarus!!!

    Think of the irony! What must they have thought...It is said Jesus can raise the dead, and Lazarus is living proof of that--so let's kill Lazarus (what, so He can raise him again??). Oh, and let's kill the one who has power over life and death too! Killing someone who has power over death is 100% irrational unless they are 100% convinced that Jesus is a fraud and really does not have this power (to be sure, Jesus' resurrection to immortality is quite different from Lazarus being raised back to mortality...but in either case it is clear death is not a barrier Jesus cannot overcome).

    They have already decided not to believe, and one returning from the dead isn't going to change anything. In fact, Jesus made this point quite explicitly in the parable of the rich man and...wait for it...Lazarus.

And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (Luke 16:31)

The irony is overwhelming.

  1. Giving people more knowledge than they are ready for doesn't strengthen them, it would only serve to condemn them all the more. Thus a merciful God does not give people more knowledge than they can handle:

47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:47-48)

  • Replied to in chat
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 10, 2021 at 7:58

This is probably not an answer you are looking for because there's a flaw in your logic, and this is totally unrelated to theology, namely Argument from Ignorance, which means that if I cannot find evidence of something, then that something must be false.

You mentioned that:

Missing Event #5. He does not appear to Pharisees and Teachers of the Law

And then you hastily concluded that Jesus indeed does not appear to Pharisees and Teachers of the Law without giving evidence that the Bible explictily states that Jesus avoided them after His resurrection. This is similar to me saying that you are a bot because I never met you in person. And by definition, this is a Argument from Ignorance fallacy.

So to conclude, your question is logically flawed, and thus no logical answer can be provided.

  • 2
    Please consider this. 1. if Jesus appeared to the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law it would have been documented. 2. Matthew details so many instances when the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law oppose Jesus and every time Jesus corrected them. Why will the same Matthew not document it if Jesus proved to the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law that he is alive? Are not actions more powerful than words? 3. Imagine what power the gospels would have if this happened. Lastly, I am just asking questions that bother me. I am sure there is an answer somewhere that will help me. Will continue to seek.
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 9, 2021 at 14:27
  • @Yeddu may be could you share how the perception of "Jesus does not keep his promise to the pharisees" bothers you? Commented May 10, 2021 at 7:07
  • Don't you think if Jesus did that and the jews believed, we would have had Heaven on Earth? It is important that the Jews believe in Jesus ... Matthew 23:39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’[a]”... We lost 2000 years already.
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 10, 2021 at 7:17
  • Well if you look at Matthew 13:15 “For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” It is clear that even if Jesus did show his miracles to the jews, they would not entirely believe it too. That's why Jesus mentioned to them the only miracle that they shall see is the miracle of Jonah, because showing other miracles would not move their hearts. Commented May 10, 2021 at 10:13
  • 1
    This verse is from Isaiah 6:10 and the context is different. Where G-d does not want Isaiah to preach and make them repent. G-d wants them to suffer for all their sins and then he will gather them back more refined and pure after the suffering. The last part is what this question is all about. the only sign promised was the Jonah sign but there is no verse that says he showed himself to the jews. G-d Bless.Thanks for your inputs.
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 10, 2021 at 10:33

Perhaps Jesus actually did appear to certain Pharisees and teachers of the law but they are not named. Indeed Acts 9 tells us that he appeared to one important Pharisee (Saul of Tarsus) prior Peter's speech in Acts 10. But more to the OP's point, 1 Corinthians 15:6-8 says that immediately after Jesus appeared to the Twelve:

Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.

We need not interpret these "brothers" as being exclusive of any Pharisees or law teachers. For one thing, Act 15:5 refers to "believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees." In addition, Catholic and Orthodox tradition consider the Pharisee Nicodemus to have been a secret believer. We may consider him as one of the Pharisees to whom Jesus might have appeared. St. Joseph of Arimathea, a Sanhedrin member like Nicodemus who helped pay for Jesus' burial expenses, is another candidate. (It is possible he was a Sadducee but more likely a Pharisee since the Pharisees had more teachings in common with Jesus).

Thus, although there is no direct biblical evidence that Jesus appeared to any Pharisee prior to Paul in Acts 9, there is ample circumstantial evidence to suggest that Pharisees such as Nicodemus and others were among the 500 "brothers" to whom Jesus appeared according to 1 Cor. 15.


Lazarus didn't lay dead for more than 4 days. And did they believe? I believe he never died again then. Jesus' healing name was the evidence of rising. Matthew tells the guards came and said about the resurrection miracle. Did the scribes believe?


There are many beautiful answers here. To those answers I will also add this thought. When reading verse 39 as quoted by the OP, then the word generation has always stood out to me.

39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

By all of the evidences of His resurrection after 3 days in the grave ("the sign of the prophet Jonah"), then Jesus surely did give a sign of all that He claimed to be to that generation, which would include the Pharisees and Sadducees of that generation. It is a very simple answer to the OP question, but one that to me shows that Jesus did indeed do what He said He was going to do.


As noted in the question, a 3-day and 40-day period can be found in the accounts of the Resurrection and in Jonah:

And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:17 ESV)

3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days' journey in breadth. 4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” (Jonah 3)

Jonah includes two 3-day periods and one of 40-days. Two were fulfilled immediately: Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights and it took Jonah three days to proclaim the message.1The 40-day period was fulfilled in an unexpected way when "nothing" happened. In actuality, after 40-days, the sign of the LORD's mercy was given:

6 The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34)

When Nineveh made a heartfelt response to the message, the LORD responded by demonstrating His character: He forgave their iniquity, transgression, and sin (cf. Jonah 3:6-10). Nevertheless, when they returned to their evil ways, the disaster Jonah foretold took place and so all of what the LORD spoke to Moses about His character was fulfilled.

The Sign
It must be noted Matthew states it was some of the scribes and Pharisees who asked for a sign, a request which Jesus immediately applied to an entire generation:

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. (Matthew 12)

First, Jesus is saying the sign would be the first 3-day (and 3-night) period found in Jonah. Next, while those who asked wanted to see a sign, Jesus' responded by saying the sign would be given, δίδωμι, which means to give to someone, to grant, furnish, or supply. It is a stretch to claim this meant He would show them the sign. Finally, if Jesus' response was taken literally, as the OP suggests it must, then the sign would have to be shown to everyone of that generation, not just those few who asked.

Matthew later calls attention to the sign before it was fulfilled:

62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” (Matthew 27)

The sign was the period of time Jesus spent in the tomb, not the subsequent resurrection. Even if Jesus personally appeared to everyone who asked for the sign, that would not be evidence of the sign they asked to see. For example, suppose Jesus showed himself as he did to His disciples. A scribe or Pharisee could ask, "how do I know you were in the tomb for 3-days and 3-nights?" The burden to see the period of time Jesus spent in the tomb was on those who made the request, not on Jesus. In fact, if one of those who requested the sign had waited outside the tomb, they would seen it, or they would have seen Jesus come out in less than 3-days and 3-nights and rightly conclude He failed to give the correct sign.

The Resurrection is independent of the time spent in the tomb. If those who asked for a sign wanted to see it, they needed to watch the tomb to verify the amount of time Jesus would spend before coming out. Obviously, it was impossible for Jesus to show them how long He was in the tomb. The visible proof of 3-days and 3-nights could only be seen by someone watching from the outside, a reality those who asked were aware of, but failed to do. The failure to see the sign Jesus promised was theirs, not His.

Moreover, Jesus did fulfill His part when He ensured the New Testament writers recorded the sign for the entire generation. And if the length of time is in dispute, it would be nonsensical to believe in the Resurrection and yet fail to accept the fact of the Resurrection as a fulfillment of the sign on the basis those who requested it failed to do their part.

1. Presumably the size of Nineveh, 3-days journey, which omits any reference to nights, means Jonah preached only during the day and the elapsed time from start to finish would have been 3-days and 2-nights. In order to start "on time" Jonah would have to be in Nineveh at the start of the day which implies he was there the night before. In this case the total time would be 3-nights and 3-days, the same duration he spent in the great fish.

  • Found a verse that directly explains why Jesus did not appear to the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law. Please see the update I made to the question (top part)
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 4:59
  • @Yeddu Your question is about the sign, which was the period of time Jesus would be in the tomb: “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth..." The sign was the length of time Jesus would be in the earth. For example, if He came out after 2-days and 2-nights, then He failed to do what He said He would do. Commented May 17, 2021 at 5:48
  • 1
    @Yeddu So He even if He did show Himself to those who asked, that would not be proof of the period of time He was in the heart of the earth. You are confusing His appearance with the sign He said He would give. Commented May 17, 2021 at 5:51
  • Fair point. The empty tomb was the sign.
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 5:59
  • 1
    @Yeddu No the empty tomb was not the sign any more than the empty stomach of the great fish was the sign. The sign which Jesus said would be given to the scribes and Pharisees the period of time Jonah was in the belly. Those who asked could have waited outside the tomb for the sign they asked to see. Instead they asked Pilate to guard the tomb to prevent the disciples from taking the body. Obviously, they were not interested in seeing the sign, which is the point of your question. There is no contradiction between Jesus words and actions. Commented May 17, 2021 at 15:27

The Sign of Jonah is not the 3 days thing. That's a parallel for sure, but in my opinion there's a simpler more direct reference:

Remember how, in the story of Jonah, he came to Nineveh and preached "Yet 40 days and you will be destroyed" (Jonah 3:4). And all of Nineveh repented from just that message.

Yeah, the sign of Jonah was no sign at all! And that's the point. Jesus is saying You shouldn't need some miraculous sign from heaven to turn and do the right thing! Simply hearing the right way should be enough.

An evil and perverse generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. (Matthew 16:4)

  • My response is the chat
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 10, 2021 at 8:04
  • Hi @vaporizationator welcome to Stack Exchange, we are glad you are here. Please be sure to take the site tour and read up on how this site is a little different than other sites around the web. Thanks! Commented May 11, 2021 at 3:02
  • PS the chat mentioned by Yeddu is here if you wanted to discuss further. Commented May 11, 2021 at 3:03

It's a heck of a lot simpler than all of this...because if He HAD shown himself to the Jewish leaders, all the Jews would have believed and salvation would not have come to the gentile nation...read your bibles.

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    – Jason_
    Commented May 7 at 21:56

Pharisees and Scribes Paul stated that over 500 (nameless) people witnessed the Resurrected Christ on one occasion (1 Corinthians 15:6-8). It can be safely assumed that this was a cross-section of Jewish society...and that it included a few "believing" Pharisees. Later it was recorded that it was BELIEVERS who belonged to the party of the Pharisees that confronted the Apostles (Acts 15:5). So not all Pharisees were left out in witnessing the resurrected Jesus.

But I suspect that the inquiry here is mainly dealing with the cantankerous Pharisees and rulers of the synagogues who confronted Jesus at every turn. Why didn't Jesus appear to them and absolutely PROVE His Deity? Just as Jonah was bound for three day and then appeared again, surely the internment for three days and appearance of Jesus would convince the Pharisees and high priests!

In fact, if we were the resurrected Jesus, we would be inclined to wait until the Sanhedrin assembled again, then bust open the doors of the hall, point the Nail-scared hand to them and shout, "Hey fellas, remember Me?" But alas, we aren't Jesus!

1. Closed Tightly Shut But upon reflection, it can be discerned that there are three reasons why Jesus did not appear in like fashion to the Pharisees. HARDNESS OF HEART, or as we say today, A CLOSED MIND.

He said to him, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced, even if someone rises from the dead!" (Luke 16:31)

Just like some agnostic modern scientists, no matter what supernatural "miracle" is done, there would always be some rationale or excuse not to believe. Matthew pointed this out using a reference to Old Testament scripture:

This people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. (Matthew 13:15, quoting Isaiah 6:9)

We recall that the miracle of Lazarus being raised from the dead, after he stinketh did little to convince the rulers of Jesus's divine powers! And we are told that the rulers were informed by the soldiers of Jesus resurrection, and they still doubted! So they knew...they were told...they are without excuse.

As the old adage goes: "A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still."

2. Principle of Pride But there is a deeper spiritual reason why Jesus didn't boldly confront the religious establishment, and this is summarized in the Psalms:

Though the Lord is on High, He looks upon the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar.(Psalm 138:6)

I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty, and humble the pride of the ruthless. (Isaiah 13:11)

Surely the day is coming: it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evil-doer will be stubble... (Malachi 4:1)

...He has scattered those who are proud in their innermost hearts (Luke 1:51)

The pride of the rulers and Pharisees prohibited Jesus from appearing to them after the resurrection. It would have violated the very nature of God! See also 1 Cor. 1:26-29)

3. Unshared Glory God is quite jealous of His "Glory." He is unique in every way, and will not share His fame with any idol, demi-god...or man. This becomes evident in whom He chooses to reveals His awesome truths to.

At that time Jesus said, "I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden thee things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was Your good pleasure." (Matthew 11:25-26)

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many of you were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of the world and the despised things--and things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him...Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the LORD." (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

Three Reasons Becoming aware of these three Reason it becomes evident that Jesus was justified in not appearing before the Sanhedrin and "showing off" to prove His point...His Messiahship...His Deity. Jesus was wise enough to "sow seed in good soil."

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